[ ak-choo-eyt ]
/ ˈæk tʃuˌeɪt /

verb (used with object), ac·tu·at·ed, ac·tu·at·ing.

to incite or move to action; impel; motivate: actuated by selfish motives.
to put into action; start a process; turn on: to actuate a machine.

Origin of actuate

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin āctuāt(us) reduced to action (past participle of āctuāre), equivalent to Latin āctu(s) (see act) + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

ac·tu·a·tion, nounde·ac·tu·ate, verb (used with object), de·ac·tu·at·ed, de·ac·tu·at·ing.self-ac·tu·at·ing, adjectiveun·ac·tu·at·ed, adjective

Can be confused

activate actuate stimulate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for actuate

British Dictionary definitions for actuate


/ (ˈæktʃʊˌeɪt) /

verb (tr)

to put into action or mechanical motion
to motivate or incite into actionactuated by unworthy desires

Derived Forms

actuation, nounactuator, noun

Word Origin for actuate

C16: from Medieval Latin actuātus, from actuāre to incite to action, from Latin āctus act
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012